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How to stop procrastinating during GCSE revision

We all are criminals of pursuing procrastination from time to time, and it is normal behaviour to not want to be locked down with work. However, it can prove troublesome when you know that you have a long list of work that you need to be complete in a specific amount of time. Especially when feeling stressed, anxious or overworked, students will want to put off the idea of revising during the lead up to exam season. Students will worry about what happens after GCSE’s, although this is an important factor, completing your exams and receiving the grades on GCSE’s results day is essentail for any choices made for the future, so work and revision needs to be done now.

Sometimes, when students know that impending exams are coming – as their teachers, parents and friends are constantly telling them about it – it can demotivate them and cause them to procrastinate even more. Or individuals are too afraid of failing, or the amount of work that they have before them and feel that they can’t change the outcome. However, most of the time this is untrue, and students should continue to push through their study goals and revision as they will see improvement.

What is procrastination?

Procrastination is not to be confused with the level of intelligence or laziness, the majority of students have good intentions, but when it comes to sitting down for their study session, too many thoughts enter their minds. Students may become preoccupied with their untidy rooms, their notes, what colour pens they are using and what time of day it is. Although, once you begin sorting out these ‘important’ things and errands on your mind you’ll find that you have already wasted valuable time away from your studying.


Think positive thoughts

One way to help you kick procrastination is to start changing how you think and try to adjust all of your negative thoughts into positive ones. Negative thoughts will only put you down, and although it is easier to be negative than positive, work hard to try to alter to becoming more positive! Imagine if your friend or family members said what you say to yourself – you wouldn’t allow it!

Learn from your procrastination mistakes

Try to learn from your mistakes whenever you procrastinate and don’t allow it just to pass you by. Look closely at why and when you most often procrastinate and try to work out if there is a pattern. Most students will find patterns in their procrastinating habits – it could be whenever you study in a certain room, or when you are home alone, in the library or attempting to study a specific subject. When you begin to gain insight into what makes you procrastinate you will be able to make changes, and decrease how often that you do it. Try to understand the causes and solutions to the reasons you procrastinate so that next time you won’t feel bad about doing it, or be able to be somewhat productive. 

Understand your limitations and abilities

You may have this idea that your study time has to be perfect or the fact that it needs to be a certain time of day, or that something just doesn’t seem right. Students need to understand that each study session won’t be the same as the one before or the one after, and therefore, seeking for them to be all the same will most likely have you not wanting to study at all. It can be easy to slip into procrastination. Instead of attempting to get the perfect study session out of the way, work on the study sessions that you are able to complete. 


Create realistic expectations

Some students can try to be too optimistic when it comes to studying, especially regarding your revision schedule. Overestimating your ability to study for long periods of time, or setting yourself unrealistic and tough goals can lead to you feeling burning out or working yourself too hard. Listen to what your mind and body tells you during each day of studying if you feel too tired to work until 9 pm at night – don’t! If you overwork yourself you’ll end up resenting it completely and unable to study at all!

Adjust how you feel about studying

Some people really enjoy studying, but others may find it a hindrance to their free time. Think back to why you chose to study these subjects, and if they are core modules try to think about what areas or topics you enjoy instead. Remember what your end goal is, whether it is to gain a step closer to your dream job, be able to go to college or university or plans to get a job after university, there are lots of career otions after taking GCES’s so put the hard work in now! Whenever you feel that you have reached a roadblock during your study session, take a moment to enjoy thinking about the bigger picture, the greater context and the reason why you are doing it – realise the weight of the importance of the studying.


Feel good about yourself

If you are worried that you are not working towards that A grade steadily enough, or that you have too many goals, or aspirations that are too big for you to manage, reduce them down and reward yourself when it is due. Write down what you want to achieve in each revision session and cross it off when you do complete it. You will be able to see how much you have actually achieved during that revision time and that you are making a slowly, but surely affect to your progression.

Don’t let time pass you by

It can be very easy, especially during study leave weeks from school, to allow the hours and days to pass you by to find that you are running out of time to study, making it important to get the most of out study leave. Work out how much revision you need to do at the beginning of the year – most likely after you mock exams results are in – and then see how many weeks, afternoons and hours you have to complete it. Be realistic in your ambitions, it is always best to start revising earlier than later; you can never do too much revision (you can overwork yourself, but if you study consistently and steadily, you can’t over-revise!). Using past GCSE exam paper for revision would be a perfect way to asses your timing for your work.

Your GCSE study plans should review your time management, and ask yourself whether you were able to complete the tasks you set yourself in the time that you allocated yourself. Did you take one week, or two to memorise the periodic table? If you are taking more time to complete the tasks, then you need to adjust the entire revision timetable or fear that you will most likely run out of time when your exams arrive, and you won’t be prepared!

Approach each GCSE subject differently

Each of your GCSE subjects will require different attention to the next; some may need intense revision, others may need soft reading, while others may need practical test exam papers to show progression. If there are subjects that you feel less confident about, spend more time on them, and work harder to ensure they are at the same level as your top performing subjects. Work towards at achieving decent results in all areas, and don’t let one subject fail because you were too scared to attempt it!

Break down your studying either with lessons, topics or areas so that you can manage the workload, and not begin to feel overwhelmed by the thought of revising the entire GCSE subject! By breaking each subject down, you are able to see what areas that need work, how to address the issue and how far you have worked through studying that subject too. Discovering the manageable workload of each subject will ease the pressure and stress of revision slightly and make it easier for you to cope studying for several subjects. Lastly, remember that you need to treat yourself when you complete a task!